I’ve recently finished reading this fantastic book again and out of nearly any time in history it’s so relevant now!
If you haven’t read the book before to give you a very brief summary, it’s about 2 mice and 2 little people. The 2 mice (Sniff and Scurry – Sniff ‘sniffs’ out change early and goes with it and Scurry ‘scurries’ into action when there is change) and the 2 little people (Hem and Haw, Hem denies and resists any change as he fears it will always lead to something worse and Haw learns to adapt in time when he has proof and can see for himself that the change is definitely leading to something better) The story is, they all have a big bit of cheese that they’ve been visiting and eating each day. The 2 little people have moved their families closer to the cheese and have set up their lives around that bit of cheese, they love that cheese and their lives with that cheese! The 2 mice travel to the cheese each day but always keep their running shoes around their necks just in case.
One day the 2 mice, who get there early, realise the cheese has disappeared and they immediately go off into the maze to find new cheese without giving it too much thought. Although they know the maze is full of dead ends and twists and turns they just get on with it looking for new cheese to eat. The 2 little people turn up mid morning to find the cheese has gone and straight away they start blaming someone/anyone for coming and taking their cheese away from them and they sit there complaining and waiting for it to be returned (back to normal). They end up sitting there worrying about where the cheese is and the fear of going back into the maze, with all of its unknowns and uncertainty, to find new cheese is holding them back.
I won’t tell you the ending and I would suggest reading the book. With everything that has happened during 2020 reading the book again has made me realise:
we’ve all had our “cheese” moved this year!
How are you coping with your cheese being moved?
Has this year given you a chance to relook at your business and change the way you were working and adapt your business to the new way of life as we know it at the moment?
Are you thriving now? I know a lot of businesses that are doing better now than they’ve ever done and they’re adapting as they go along.
Or has it stalled your business and you’re waiting for the “cheese” to be put back to normal?
Metaphorically speaking going out into the maze with all of the unknowns that we are all living in now can be extremely scary and it brings a huge amount of uncertainty as how do you know the new way of working you are trying will work?! It is easier to stay focused on what we know and hope that everything will go back to normal than to move into that uncertainty trying new things.
If you are feeling this uncertainty about adapting your business or adding completely new streams of products and services to your business there are a lot of tools you can use to plan to do this and at the same time you can look at plan B and plan C so if plan A doesn’t work you can have other ideas in your plan to try.
The first thing I would suggest doing is relooking at why you are in business:
Why do you love what you do? What service/ product do you want to share with the world which is the reason you went into business in the first place?
For example, I am in business as a coach because I have a passion for seeing people succeed in business and I thrive on seeing business owners grow personally and their businesses grow successfully and profitably without the owners working themselves into the ground doing it.
How does it make you feel when you sit and think about why you started in business in the first place? Excited? Nervous? Determined?
When you think about how you want to serve your customers with your products or services, how will your products/ services help them now? Writing down a list of new ways you could be helping your customers now using your products or services is a great start to putting a plan in place so that you can then look into ways of doing that (and costs if it involves setting up new systems). When you are doing this try to put yourself in your customers shoes, if you were your customer how could your product or service help them at this time? What could you do that would give them the most value now?
For example: Say you sell DIY and home improvement items and you have always just sold from your shop but now foot traffic and in turn sales are down because people are staying at home what is stopping you from setting up online and maybe doing an advert on somewhere like Facebook or Google notifying people they can order items online and you’ll deliver them? With everyone being at home at the moment I know a lot of people that are using this time to improve their homes so why loose out on that business just because they can’t come into your shop? You can also reach a lot larger audience if you are prepared to ship to a larger area and you include the price of the shipping in the costs so that you are not out of pocket.
Or if you offer a service that you have always offered face to face and technology is something that is like the maze a complete unknown! Why should you stop working just because you have never used say zoom before? This is where Google or You Tube can come in handy, if you do a search for how to use it and how it works you will find masses of information, find an article or video (whichever is your preference) with a step by step guide on how to use it and with a bit of practice you’ll become an expert and again by doing it online you can reach a lot bigger market than you would have been able to face to face. It can be unsettling learning how to use new products BUT how will you feel once you have conquered it and you’re growing your business and reaching clients you would have never even considered before everything went online?!
By now you have a clear vision of why you are in business doing what you love and also the beginning of a plan as to how you can pivot your business to the new world that we find ourselves living in.
Now is a good time to look into the future - where do you want your business to be in 12 months and base that on things remaining the way they are or similar to how they are now.
What do you want to achieve in the next 12 months based on the new ideas you have just written down? It is always good to set a financial goal here as well as business and personal goals. (If you would like a tool to use to do this the History Highway tool is great or if you are struggling to see where you want to be in 12 months the Ideal Average Day covers everything from you personally to where you want your business to be)
With all of this you can then look into costs and logistics of changing the way that you are working. If there are going to be significant costs for your business involved in changing the way you are working then go through your cash flow to make sure you can afford these now (and how long it will take you to recover these costs) and if you can’t afford it now are there work arounds to get you started now (if you own a shop and don’t have a website could you sell through Amazon, Google and eBay initially while you’re saving towards having your own website built? This is where plan B and plan C come in)
If you don’t have a cash flow and would like a simple template to get you started you can download one here or if sticking to a financial plan and not overspending or spending at all is something that you struggle with why not book a FREE 30 minute consultation to see if my A.M.O.U.R Financial Accountability Coaching package could be compatible or you.
You have a detailed plan of action now, are you going to be like the mice Sniff and Scurry and start taking action to put that plan in place or are you feeling more like Hem and Haw and you are still uncertain?
If you are feeling uncertain and would like to explore how to overcome this and some assistance and accountability to setting your plan and taking action please book in for a FREE 30 minute consultation to see if my A.M.O.U.R Business Extraordinaire package could be compatible for you.